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Long Term Agreement for Engagement of Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) Consultants in Pacific Island Countries (intermittent on need basis within 24 months)

Suva

  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Suva
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Medical Practitioners
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
  • Closing Date: Closed

UNICEF Pacific is in search of a dedicated and proactive international Consultant. The consultant will work under the supervision of the Health and Nutrition Specialist in the UNICEF Pacific Multi-Country Office, with the support of the Nutrition Specialist, and will be responsible for providing technical assistance, capacity building support and coordination for Ministry of Health in Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) to ensure successful BFHI implementation.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.  

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.  

And we never give up.  

For every child, health. 

We operate in the Pacific, specifically in the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. These 14 Pacific islands countries are home to 2.3 million people, including 1.2 million children and youth. They inhabit more than 660 islands and atolls that stretch across 17.2 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean. This area is comparable to the combined size of the United States of America and Canada. Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu are classified as Fragile States according to World Bank/OECD criteria. 

All 14 Pacific Island countries and territories have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, only a third are on track with reporting obligations. You can explore the different areas of our work at the link provided here: www.unicef.org/pacificislands

Background of Assignment:  

Promotion of Breastfeeding is a high impact intervention that plays a crucial role in ensuring children receive adequate nourishment. Breastfed children have a significantly reduced risk for both wasting and later childhood overweight or obesity. 

The Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs) face a triple burden of malnutrition, encompassing child undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight and obesity. UNICEF is actively involved in systems strengthening across 14 PICTs, supporting the respective Ministries of Health (MoHs) to deliver optimal nutrition and health services. Despite the efforts made to date, sub-optimal breastfeeding practices persist. On average, only 62% of infants are initiated breastfeeding within the first hour of birth and just over half are exclusively breastfed during the first 6 months. Furthermore, continued breastfeeding up to two years is observed in just over half of all infants. 

UNICEF would like to engage the services of individual consultants for helping the MoHs advance the implementation of BHFI across PICTs (indicative list: Fiji, RMI, FSM, Tonga, Kiribati, Solomon, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu). 

OBJECTIVE / SCOPE OF WORK 

The overall objective is to set up a Long-Term Agreement to facilitate and expedite the process by which UNICEF in Pacific will hire individual consultants as required to provide technical assistance, capacity building support, and coordination for MoHs in specific PICTs to ensure successful BFHI implementation. More specifically, the assignment in each country includes:  

  1. Review and identify bottlenecks in BFHI implementation:  
  • The consultant will review the current implementation status of BFHI in selected countries. The focus will be on identifying the steps that are lagging behind and their bottlenecks, including capacity gaps.  
  1. Propose actions to address bottlenecks:  
  • The consultant will propose approaches to addressing the identified bottlenecks in consultation with MoHs. For identified capacity gaps, the consultant will develop a capacity building plan with approach tailored to each country context. This may involve through on-job site sessions, off-job site trainings, and development of a team of trainers for continuous professional development to address longer-term needs. Coaching and mentorship mechanism should be embedded in the capacity building approach to ensure that knowledge and skills obtained through training will translate into the lasting practices. 
  1. Provide support for integration and institutionalization:  
  • The consultant will collaborate with MoHs to integrate the BHFI’s 10 steps into quality-of-care assessments / continuous quality improvement mechanism within health facilities or other existing initiatives/frameworks. The consultant will also support efforts to include BHFI in pre-service training of health workers or other similar capacity building platforms. 

Please refer to the ToR (Download File TOR - Nutrition BFHI Consultant.pdf ) for further information on the deliverables and the timelines. 

GUIDANCE FOR APPLICANTS:  

Please submit the following application document: 

  • A cover letter explaining suitability for position  
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)  
  • Technical proposal   

The financial proposal in a separate attachment should reflect a lump sum amount for all the deliverables (per country) with a break down for the following:  

  • Daily consultancy fees – based on the deliverables in the Terms of Reference above. 
  • Travel (economy air ticket where air travel is applicable to take up assignment, as well as any in country travel cost, if in country support is required)  
  • Living allowance for international consultant that will need to relocate to PICTs, for the duration of in-country assignment.  
  • Miscellaneous- to cover visa, health insurance (including medical evacuation for international consultants), communications, and other costs. 

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…  

Education:   

  • A medical or advanced university degree in one of the following fields: nutrition, midwifery, public health, pediatric health, family health, or other related disciplines. 

Experience, Skills and Knowledge 

  • A minimum of 5 years of professional experience in breastfeeding related work including in clinical contexts.  
  • Experience in conducting BFHI training and mentorship. Preferably a certified trainer and BFHI Assessor with certification issued by IBFAN or a recognized lactation management certification.  
  • Work experience serving in a developing country is required. Work experience in the Pacific Islands region is an asset.  
  • Experience working in UNICEF or a UN system agency is an asset.  
  • Able to work effectively with people - internal and external stakeholders.  
  • Excellent pedagogical skills for training.  
  • Communicates clearly and concisely.  
  • Excellent analytical and conceptual skills. 
  • Proven ability to work independently under difficult conditions.  
  • Health care systems, the BFHI approach.  

Language:   

  • Fluency in English is required, and knowledge of a local language would be an asset.  

For every Child, you demonstrate…  

UNICEF's values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).  

To view our competency framework, please visit  here

Remarks:   

The Long Term Agreement (LTA) will be established for a period of 24 months with the possibility of renewal for a subsequent year on the same rates, terms and conditions, subject to satisfactory performance evaluation and continuing need for the service. The LTA to be signed will have a fixed fee rate for 24 months. However, UNICEF does not warrant that any quantity of services will be purchased during the term of the LTA as this will depend on the individual country needs. 

Contracts created against the LTA: Whenever BFHI consultancy services are required, details of the requirement/deliverables including quantities1 and deadlines will be presented to the top-ranking LTA holder. Should this consultant not be available for this assignment, UNICEF will contact the second ranked consultant and so on. Upon receipt of confirmation of availability and interest in the assignment, a contract will be issued based on the unit prices/fees agreed in the LTA. The consultant must sign the contract prior to commencement of work.  

Payment will be made after completion of deliverables and submission of invoices for the actual work completed, subject to satisfactory performance. 

The consultant will be based in a target country to perform most of the assignment, while s/he can work remotely on the inception and final reports at the beginning and end of the assignment. All costs related to the work will be included in the financial proposal and subsequent contract. Monitoring and overall supervision will be provided by the Health and Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Pacific Multi-Country Office, in close collaboration with the Nutrition Specialist. While in-country with UNICEF Field Office staff presence (RMI, FSM, Kiribati, Solomon, Vanuatu), day-to-day supervision would be provided by the relevant UNICEF staff in-country. 

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic. 

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 or individual contract 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 and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors 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.  

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process for this consultancy.  

This vacancy is now closed.