Consultant: Documenting country experiences on innovations for improving complementary feeding, Remote - Req
Application deadline 2 months ago: Monday 18 Sep 2023 at 03:55 UTCOpen application form
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Consultancy Title: Consultant: Documenting country experiences on innovations for improving complementary feeding
Section/Division/Duty Station: Nutrition and Child Development Team, Programme Group - NYHQ
Duration: September 30, 2023 to May 30, 2024
Home/ office Based: NYHQ – REMOTE (Consultant will be home based with travel if needed)
If you are a committed, creative professional and are passionate about making a lasting difference for children, the world's leading children's rights organization would like to hear from you. For 75 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children's survival, protection and development. The world's largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF has over 12,000 staff in more than 145 countries.
Purpose of Activity/ Assignment:
Document the effectiveness and learning related to the programming and use of the innovation complementary feeding bowl and spoon for improving complementary feeding.
The complementary feeding ‘bowl and spoon’ developed by UNICEF contributes to addressing the two main pillars of infant and young children’s diets: what children eat (complementary foods) and when and how they are fed (complementary feeding practices). This innovative project was born out of a need to strengthen infant and young child feeding counselling programmes with a tool that could serve as an easy reminder for caregivers on nutrition messages. The bowl and spoon draws on initial prototype research from Emory University, which explored and documented the impact of using a feeding bowl to support key messaging around young children’s diets and a slotted spoon to emphasise the right food consistency. UNICEF conducted a series of comprehensive consultations and engaged in an innovation process to further develop the product. As a result, the design was modified to incorporate new features that address dietary diversity and hygiene while implementing a more child-friendly and inclusive design, in line with UNICEF’s Programming Guidance for young children’s diets.
This tool is currently being integrated in 13 countries with UNICEF nutrition programmes: Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Burundi, Malawi, State of Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Mozambique, Madagascar, Uganda, Senegal, and Burkina Faso.
Following a country-level situation analysis, in line with government priorities, countries have each customized their bowls to reflect national food groups and selected their preferred implementation strategies. As a result, the bowl and spoon have been included within a range of IYCF programmes, food fortification actions, and wider dietary diversity initiatives. Each country is offering a unique learning opportunity where the tool is integrated into existing platforms and networks ranging from primary healthcare facilities, community health and nutrition workers, mother-to-mother support groups, farmers groups, or IYCF counsellors.
Some countries have incorporated the complementary feeding bowl and spoon as an early childhood development tool. As other stimulating materials, the complementary feeding bowl and spoon promote parents’/caregivers’ engagement with children and children’s early development.
Results to date suggest this tool can support efforts to improve feeding practices and foods for young children and maximise the impact of nutrition programmes for IYCF for a relatively small additional cost. The first few years of this project, with implementation initially on a small scale, allow for robust data collection and the development of a greater understanding of the different delivery platforms employed and possible ways to maximise impact. This learning will inform and support the subsequent scale-up of the project such as needed product iteration, applicability in emergency settings, partnership and programme integration and optimized efficacy, equity, and sustainability. The learning will also inform the contribution of the tool in improving child development.
Scope of Work:
A consultant is needed to provide technical leadership in undertaking a thorough documentation of the effectiveness and learnings related to the use of this innovation particularly on feeding practices. The documentation is also an opportunity to provide learning on the acceptability of the product as well as other unintended outcomes such as inclusivity and early childhood development.
- Develop a methodology for conducting the documentation: the consultant will provide a study outline including methodology and tools for conducting the documentation based on a review of relevant documents and meeting with UNICEF’s nutrition specialist and innovation specialist.
- Conduct an initial documentation of the use of the bowl and spoon in all 13 countries: based on the suggested methodology which may include key informant interviews, meetings, desk reviews, questionnaires etc., the consultant will document how the tool is used and what are preliminary findings related to the effectiveness and lessons learned.
- Conduct an in-depth documentation of the effectiveness of the use of the tool in three countries that have distinct contexts: based on the suggested methodology which may include conducting a case study, the consultant will document the effectiveness of the tool in relation to different outcomes including complementary feeding practices, and child development in three selected countries.
Document the findings and recommendations in a final report and publication: the consultant will produce a narrative of the results and findings of the documentation including a set of recommendations for scale-up of the project such as product iterations, applicability in emergency settings, partner and programme integration and optimized efficacy, equity, and sustainability.
Terms of Reference / Key Deliverables / Delivery Dedline:
- Develop a study outline including methodology and tools for conducting the documentation
- Study Outline including methodology and tools for conducting the documentation
October 15, 2023
- Conduct an initial documentation of the use of the bowl and spoon in all 13 countries
- Report on preliminary findings of initial documentation in 13 countries on the use of the bowl and spoon (focus on product)
November 20, 2023
- Conduct an in-depth documentation of the effectiveness of the use of the tool in three countries that have distinct contexts
- Report on the effectiveness of the tool in relation to different outcomes including complementary feeding practices (results from in-depth documentation in three countries). January 2024
- Document the findings and recommendations in a final report and publication:
- Draft #1 narrative report submitted on the findings and documentation of the use of the bowl and spoon
- Final narrative report on the findings and documentation of the use of the bowl and spoon
- Set of recommendations produced for scale-up of the project such as product iterations, applicability in emergency settings, and optimised efficacy, equity, and sustainability
- Develop tool describing the use of the Complementary Feeding Bowl and Spoon within nutrition and child development programming
- A visual/interactive tool developed that showcases the use of the bowl and spoon within nutrition and child development programming
Travel (if required) - completion timeline – withing the contract duration
- Advanced degree (Masters) in nutrition, public health nutrition, public health, child health and nutrition, early childhood development or other relevant related field.
- At least 7-year experience and a strong track record of expertise in relevant related fields for this assignment (e.g. programme documentation, programme evaluation, case study methodology, qualitative research, etc.).
- Demonstrated experience at the international level in public health nutrition, infant and young child feeding, early childhood development.
- Demonstrated experience in report writing in the field of nutrition and child development.
- Excellent communication skills, good teamwork, facilitation skills, driven for results, time keeping, research and analysis.
- Strong strategic thinking and analytical skills.
- Proficient in English writing.
Completed profile in UNICEF's e-Recruitment system and
- Upload copy of academic credentials
- Financial proposal that will include/ reflect :
- the costs per each deliverable and the total lump-sum for the whole assignment (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference.
- travel costs and daily subsistence allowance, if internationally recruited or travel is required as per TOR.
- Any other estimated costs: visa, health insurance, and living costs as applicable.
- Indicate your availability
- Any emergent / unforeseen duty travel and related expenses will be covered by UNICEF.
- At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage.
- Payment of professional fees will be based on submission of agreed satisfactory deliverables. UNICEF reserves the right to withhold payment in case the deliverables submitted are not up to the required standard or in case of delays in submitting the deliverables on the part of the consultant.
U.S. Visa information:
With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process
For every Child, you demonstrate…
UNICEF’s core values of Commitment, Diversity and Integrity and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results. View our competency framework at: Here
UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.
UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.
Individuals engaged under a consultancy will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants. Consultants are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.
The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.