Micronutrient Powders Consultant (International P3)

Closing date: 05 Oct 2016

VACANCY#: UNICEF/MLW/2016/011

  1. BACKGROUND AND JUSTIFICATION

In Malawi 63% of children under five were considered to be anemic and 37% of children under five were found to be stunted, with stunting slightly higher among male children (39% percent) than among female children (35%) as identified by the Malawi Demographic Health Survey (MDHS 2015-16). In addition, infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices are sub-optimal, with only 8% of children 6-23 months receiving minimum acceptable diet[1] as compared to 19% in 2010[2]. Insufficient nutrition (including inadequate calories, protein, or micronutrients) can have detrimental effect on the health, growth and development of young children. Inadequate nutrition can lead to improper growth, characterized by stunting, wasting or underweight. It can also lead to micronutrient deficiencies (i.e. iron, vitamin A, and zinc deficiencies) which are associated with a range of problems including impaired immunity, vision problems, and impaired cognitive development[3]. The consequences of poor nutrition are pronounced among children 6-23 months of age as this is a period of rapid growth and development characterized by high nutritional needs. As a result, children 6-23 months are at the greatest risk of developing micronutrient deficiencies and stunted growth.

The National Micronutrient Strategy has identified Home Fortification through the use of Micronutrient Powders (MNP) in complementary foods for children starting at the age of 6 months up to two years as one of the key strategies for reducing micronutrient deficiencies. Home Fortification with MNP is being introduced by the Government of Malawi through an integrated community based nutrition platform as part of the strategy to improve the quality, quantity and frequency of complementary feeding for young children.

Home Fortification using MNP has been selected as a complementary strategy in Malawi as it will promote improved quality, quantity and frequency of complementary feeding and build on caregiver’s existing knowledge of good nutrition and appropriate IYCF practices. Trainings on the appropriate use of MNP will reinforce existing positive practices such as the enriching porridges, appropriate complementary feeding as well as build resilience by promoting the use and demonstrating how to prepare a balanced diet using locally available ingredients. The introduction of Home Fortification in Malawi will also provide an opportunity for capacity building among service providers in nutrition education, IYCF and supply management.

  1. CONSULTANCY SCOPE OF WORK AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The key purpose of the assignment is to provide technical leadership and oversight support to Ministry of Health (DNHA) and UNICEF Malawi in the implementation of the home fortification program using MNPs, while ensuring effective coordination and collaboration with key stakeholders.

The selected consultant will assist in undertaking the following activities:

  1. Conduct training of national level trainers in collaboration with the MNP taskforce
  2. Work with National MNP taskforce to support training of district health team members on implementation of MNPs
  3. Provide technical support and mentorship to district health team members in orientation of frontline workers and implementation of MNPs at community level
  4. Support implementation of communication activities for sensitization of communities on MNPs
  5. Support integration of MNP implementation with existing IYCF and SUN care group activities
  6. Support ongoing quantification of MNP requirements at district and national levels to ensure timely procurement and distribution of MNPs to districts
  7. Take leadership in the development of a process document, to inform national scale up
  8. Provide technical leadership in revision of existing materials for communication, implementation, training, monitoring and evaluation as the different phases of MNP roll out are implemented
  9. Document and share key lessons learned and best practices through existing Technical working group foras
  10. Support National MNP taskforce in development of monthly distribution plans and any other supply chain logistics related activities for MNPs
  11. Develop monthly updates and briefs on progress in roll out of MNPs including key progress indicators to be shared in various coordination foras

4. EXPECTED DELIVERABLES

Under the guidance of Chief, Nutrition and in consultation with Nutrition Specialist (L3), the incumbent will develop deliverables for each month that is accepted and signed by Chief, Nutrition in accordance with table below. This document will be referred to as the Monthly Deliverable Schedule and 1/8th of value of the consultancy will be paid upon successful submission of deliverables.

Task

Deliverable

Timeframe

Develop a detailed plan of action for phased roll out of MNPs in line with national road map and implementation plan

Action plan developed

Within 2 weeks of assuming assignment

Develop guidelines for mentorship, support and supervision of district health teams

Guideline developed

Within 4 weeks of assuming assignment

Develop monthly distribution plan for MNPs for districts

Distribution plan available

At the end of every month; monthly payment will be made based on satisfactory submission of key end of month deliverable plus these four key deliverables

Travel to the field and conduct monthly support, mentoring and coaching to districts implementing MNPs

Detailed monthly district reports with key progress indicators; lessons learned and best practices documented

Conduct monthly MNP taskforce meetings and presentation of updates and progress reports

Meeting minutes, monthly update report compiled

Support training of new districts (when applicable)

Training reports

Review and update training package

Training package updated

8 weeks from assuming assignment

Review and update MNP guidelines

Guidelines updated informed by phase 1 and 2 implementation

12 weeks from assuming assignment

Review and update MNP Monitoring and evaluation framework and tools

MNP Monitoring and evaluation tools updated

16 weeks for assuming assignment

Review and update MNP IEC materials

MNP IEC materials updated

20 weeks from assuming assignment

Support national launch of MNPs in Malawi

MNP launch report

24 weeks from assuming assignment

Develop supply chain logistics standard operating procedures for MNPS

Standard operating procedures for MNPS in place

28 weeks from assuming assignment

Compile MNPs process documentation

MNP process document in place

32 weeks from assuming assignment

5. LOCATION AND DURATION OF ASSIGNMENT

Assignment will be for 8 months based in Lilongwe, Malawi with monthly travel to implementation districts.

6. DESIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND SPECIALISED EXPERIENCE

  • Master’s degree in Nutrition, Public Health or other related Social Science
  • Minimum of 5 years of experience working in the area of Micronutrient powders
  • Knowledge and experience on Nutrition and child health programs related to design and implementation of MNPs.
  • Documentation experience in designing, coordinating and analysing quantitative and qualitative research
  • Experience in C4D and communication methods for uptake of nutrition programs
  • Previous experience in developing IEC materials, monitoring tools and reports for MNPs.
  • Experience working with governments, NGOS, UN agencies or other relevant development partners.Language Required for the Consultancy:
  • Proficient in English

7. CONDITIONS (IMPORTANT)

  • The consultant will be paid based on the deliverables
  • Consultant will not be paid for working weekends and public holidays
  • All remunerations will be within the contract agreement
  • No contract may commence unless the contract is signed by both UNICEF and the consultant
  • No consultant may travel without a signed travel authorisation prior to the commencement of the journey to the duty station.
  • The consultant will be required to sign the health statement for consultants/individual contractor prior to taking up the assignment, and to document that they have appropriate health insurance, if applicable.
  • The Form ‘Designation, change or revocation of beneficiary’ has to be completed by the consultant upon arrival, at the HR Section.
  • The consultant is not entitled to payment of overtime

[1] MDHS. Malawi Demographic Health Survey 2015-16. Zomba, Malawi, National Statistical Office, May 2016.

[2] MDHS. Malawi Demographic Health Survey 2010. Zomba, Malawi, National Statistical Office, September 2011.

[3] HF-TAG. A Manual for Developing and Implementing Monitoring Systems for Home Fortification Interventions. April 2013.

How to apply:

METHOD OF APPLICATION

Qualified candidates are requested to submit:-

A cover letter, performance evaluation report (if applicable), CV and Personal History Form (P-11 form) to be downloaded from the websitehttp://www.unicef.org/about/employ/index_53129.html), a financial proposal (including all eligible fees, transportations and DSA for desktop research, data collection, and fieldwork, communication, presentation costs) on or before 05 October 2016 via e-mail address: hrmalawi@unicef.org

NOTE:

  • UNICEF is committed to gender equality in its mandate and its staff. Well qualified candidates, particularly females are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • Only shortlisted applicants will be acknowledged.
  • Applications sent through the post office or hand delivered is not accepted.

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