Individual Consultant: Nutrition Impacts and Programmatic Adaptations to the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Senior-level, Short-term contract assignment
  • Posted on 18 June 2020

Job Description

For every child, a future

1. Rationale:
Governments and partners across the South Asia region are acting to protect citizens from COVID-19. These crucial efforts will save many lives. However, the measures needed to slow the transmission of the disease are resulting in hardship for many vulnerable families. In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic is having worrying impacts on household incomes, food supply chains, diets, access to health and nutrition services and schools. We are also extremely concerned about inappropriate donations and distribution of breastmilk substitutes to breastfeeding mothers. This situation is aggravating the difficulties many vulnerable families face in meeting their nutrition needs, and has created a perfect storm for malnutrition in South Asia. In fact, the pandemic threatens to unwind years of progress made in the region to reduce child stunting and other forms of malnutrition and to reduce child mortality.

UNICEF has been supporting government and other partners to (1) monitor impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on diets, access to services and nutrition outcomes; (2) identify and introduce programmatic adaptions to nutrition services so that they can be safely delivered in the context of COVID-19. As the pandemic progresses, there is an urgent need to better understand how COVID-19 pandemic is impacting on nutrition, what programmatic adaptations and innovations are being made to mitigate the impacts, and what we can learn from this experience.

2. Purpose:
The purpose of this contract will be to support ROSA and country offices in South Asia region to document the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition in South Asia, the programmatic adaptations and innovations being made to deliver nutrition services and improve diets and dietary practices, and the impact of these programmatic adaptations and innovations. This work will be guided by the UNICEF’s evidence generation framework on COVID-19 pandemic.

Potential areas of documentation include:

  • How has the pandemic affected access to nutritious diets, feeding practices, access to essential nutrition services and nutrition outcomes?
  • How were decisions on the prioritization or de-prioritization and reintroduction of essential nutrition services made? What influenced the decisions, were these decisions rationale, and what do we learn from this experience?
  • What programmatic adaptations and innovations have been introduced to improve diets, feeding practices and deliver nutrition services in the context of COVID-19?
  • How have these programmatic responses (including adaptations and innovations) effected access to nutritious diets, feeding practices, access to essential nutrition services and nutrition outcomes? What do we learn from these experiences?

Knowledge products will cater to a wide spectrum of internal and external audiences. They may include (but not be limited to) the following:

  • Matrix of programmatic adaptations by country and programme area
  • Testimonies, case studies, vignettes and field notes
  • Reports and articles, including journal articles
  • Online blogs, web articles and social media content.
  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Inventory of knowledge products by country

3. Key Assignments/Tasks:
Under the supervision of the Regional Nutrition Adviser, the contractor will support the following tasks:
1. Identify documentation needs

  • Collate and review grey and white literature and reports on COVID-19 and nutrition in South Asia
  • Liaise with each UNICEF country office (CO) and regional partners to identify what information and knowledge has already been documented, and what is planned.
  • Support COs in probing, identifying and prioritizing areas of documentation and documentation needs

2. Support COs in identifying data and information needs to support documentation.

  • For each identified documentation need, identify the data and information needs
  • Guide COs in obtaining the data and information needed for documentation using appropriate methods and tools.
  • Guide COs on ethical data/information collection and analysis.

3. Analyse data/information and prepare ROSA-led knowledge products

  • Compile, analyze and synthesis data and information.
  • Develop high-quality knowledge products in a variety of appropriate formats

4. Support COs to develop CO-led knowledge products

  • Guide COs in analyzing and synthesis data and information.
  • Review and provide technical input into CO-led knowledge products

5. Support the storage and dissemination of new knowledge products internally and externally

  • Maintain a sharepoint site to store knowledge products
  • Develop social media messages (e.g. for twitter) to disseminate knowledge products electronically.
  • Develop and deliver powerpoint presentations to disseminate the findings via webinairs.

4. Key functions/Day to day activities:
Support ROSA nutrition section and country offices in South Asia to:

  1. Identify documentation needs
  2. Support COs in identifying data and information needs to support documentation
  3. Analyse data/information and prepare ROSA-led knowledge products
  4. Support COs to develop CO-led knowledge products

Support the storage and dissemination of new knowledge products internally and externally

Duration: 7 months

Note:The contractor is expected to work from Monday through Friday, and regardless of location, overlap for at least 3.5 hours per day with the team in Kathmandu. The contractor will accrue 1.5 days of annual leave each month for the duration of the contract.
Please submit your applications with financial proposal. Applications without the financial proposal will not be considered. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advanced to the next stage of the selection process.
The candidates are asked to provide three examples of written documents that they have prepared. These documents could be reports, articles, case studies, etc. and should represent their own work. These documents should not include the input of other technical contributors or editors. However, if this cannot be avoided (e.g. if pre-edited versions of the document are not available), then contributions by other individuals should be disclosed in the cover letter.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have:
A. Education:

A Master’s Degree in nutrition, nutritional epidemiology, public health, global/international health and nutrition, health/nutrition research, policy and/or management or other public health related science field is required. Research experience, including a Ph.D. is desirable

B. Work Experience:
A minimum of eight (8) years of progressively responsible professional experience in nutrition in international development and on the documentation of learning and knowledge.
Experience in working in nutrition in South Asian countries is an asset.

C. Language proficiency:
Fluency in English (oral and written)

For every Child, you demonstrate:
UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, and Accountability (CRITA) and core competencies in Communication, Working with People and Drive for Results.

The functional competencies required for this post are

  • Excellent analytical skills.
  • Excellent writing skills of publication standard for a range of audiences (technical, academic, non-technical)
  • Statistical analysis skills using standard statistical packages is an asset
  • Research skills is an asset (i.e. qualitative and quantitative research methods)
  • Strong interpersonal skills to facilitate productive collaboration between colleagues and partners.

Closing Date Sat Jul 04 2020 02:10:00 GMT+0800 (China Standard Time)

About the Organization

UNICEF is out to change the world for children vaccination by vaccination, blanket by blanket, biscuit by biscuit, book by book. In most of America, these things are considered completely ordinary. But in many parts of the developing world, they can save a child's life. UNICEF is unique among world organizations and unique among those working with young people. As a global movement, we use our authority to influence decision makers and diverse partners to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. In 155 countries and territories, UNICEF's field staff uses hard-won expertise to meet the challenges facing children and those who care for them. Our history has given us a profound understanding of development and the importance of child health, education, equality and protection in advancing humanity. All that we do helps children realize their full potential. In support of UNICEF's work, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF focuses on five major priorities: education, emergencies, HIV/AIDS, immunization and malnutrition.

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