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Nutrition Governance (institutional framework) Consultant for Republic of Marshall Islands and Tonga (4 months)


  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: Nuku‘alofa
  • Grade: Consultancy - Consultant - Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • International Relations
    • Democratic Governance
    • Public Policy and Administration
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Nutrition
  • Closing Date: Closed

UNICEF Pacific seeks for a dedicated and proactive international Consultant. The consultant will work under the supervision of the Nutrition Specialist in the UNICEF Pacific Multi-Country Office and provide technical assistance for Ministries of Health (MoHs) in RMI and Tonga to review the existing institutional framework and capacity to deliver, coordinate or steer nutrition services across different sectors and in communities; and recommend an organisational / human resource structure for optimal delivery of nutrition services

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:

Background of Assignment:  

Surveys conducted in the Pacific Island Countries, including Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) and Kingdom of Tonga, over the past five years consistently show alarming rates of various forms of malnutrition among both children and adults. In RMI, one in every three children under five years of age are stunted. Nearly 5% of children in the same age group are overweight and another 4% are wasted. Over a third of women of reproductive age, and close to a similar proportion of children are anaemic. In Tonga, nearly six in every ten children and adolescents (5-19 years) are overweight and obese. Additionally, over a third of the children have been reported to be anaemic.

Sub-optimal diets are considered as the main key immediate driver for malnutrition in all its forms. Poor nutrition is a crucial risk factor for non-communicable diseases (NCDs). In both RMI and Tonga, NCDs are the leading cause of mortality and take up a significant proportion of the health expenditure. Overall, purchases from imported items are the main source of food access followed by small-scale agricultural production. Households in the lowest socio-economic quartile have the lowest food expenditure which is mostly on unhealthy foods as these are less expensive.

In order to address the multi-faceted burden of malnutrition in RMI, the government has undertaken several steps. In 2021, the government launched the Early Childhood Development policy. In 2022 a multisectoral framework of High Impact Nutrition Interventions (m-HINI) for RMI was launched with a proposed governance structure with the Ministry of health (MoH) as chair of the national nutrition multisectoral technical working group which hosts the m-HINI framework. In Tonga, the MoH is the ministry expected to offer technical support in the delivery of nutrition services within health and other social services sectors such as agriculture, trade as well as social assistance.


The objective of this consultancy is to recommend: i) an evidence-based, context-specific, and fit-for-purpose institutional set-up / structure within MoHs in RMI and Tonga, which will allow optimal delivery of nutrition services through health systems and effective coordination of nutrition interventions across sectors; and ii) nutrition human resource capacity needed in other Ministries to deliver in full, required multisectoral interventions for nutrition.

Specifically, the assignment includes:

  1. Undertake a desk review of organizational structures of public institutions (MoH, other line ministries and government institutions) for delivery of nutrition services in different countries, including the Oceania / Asian region, and identify good practices relevant to RMI and Tonga context.
  2. Review the current organizational structures and institutional capacity in MoH, other line ministries and government institutions in RMI and Tonga against the country’s public nutrition needs, challenges as well as expected roles of each agency in delivery and coordination of nutrition services, as well as civil service regulations.
  3. Recommend a fit-for-purpose, context-specific organizational set-up with human resource prototype for a unit/department/division (including graded positions) under the MoH to deliver the required nutrition-specific services and coordinate multi-sectoral nutrition-sensitive interventions for each country. In consultation with MoH, recommend the same for nutrition positions in other relevant line ministries and government institutions (e.g., Agriculture, Education, Commerce/trade, and social protection & any other relevant government institution depending on the context) to ensure delivery of nutrition sensitive interventions in respective sectors.
  4. Estimate the annual cost of the implementation of above recommendations
  5. Develop a roadmap for gradually operationalizing the recommended institutional set-up in phases, taking into account the priority nutrition interventions and the existing in-country human resource capacity and the need for short-term measures (engagement of consultants / expatriates, task shifting, etc.) and long-term measures (workforce production through pre-service and in-service education and overseas partnership arrangement, etc.).

The consultant needs to travel to RMI and Tonga (one visit each) to perform most of the assignment which involves extensive stakeholder consultation, while s/he can work remotely at the beginning and end of the assignment. The expected duration of the contract is 4 months. The exercise should be completed in RMI first, and then Tonga. The consultant is expected to spend approximately 50 working days for in-country assignment in 2 countries, while the remaining 14 days’ worth of work may be completed remotely. 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 Nutrition Specialist, UNICEF Pacific Multi-Country Office, in close collaboration with the Chief of Health and Nutrition. While in RMI, the consultant will report to the UNICEF Maternal Child Health Specialist based in Majuro on a day-to-day basis.

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


Please submit the following application document: 

Please submit a separate financial offer along with your application and technical proposal on how the assignment will be conducted. The financial proposal should be a lump sum amount for all the deliverables but should show a break down for the following:

  • Daily fees– based on the deliverables in the Terms of Reference
  • Travel (economy air ticket where applicable to take up assignment if in country support is required, as well as any in country travel)
  • 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…  


  • An advanced University degree in Nutrition, Dietetics, or Public Health, Organisational Development, Public policy, Governance, or other related disciplines is required. A PhD would be an added advantage.

Experience, Skills and Knowledge 

  • A minimum of 10 years of professional experience in nutrition programming, including at policy level is required.
  • Experience with nutrition governance review, organizational review, public sector reform, and institutional strengthening work is required.
  • Experience in working with government institutions is required.
  • Work experience in the Oceania / Asian region, particularly in the Pacific is an asset.
  • Ability to work effectively with people.
  • Clear and concise communication.
  • Excellent analytical and conceptual skills.
  • Proven ability to work independently under difficult conditions.
  • Government systems, Nutrition service delivery.


  • Fluency in English is required.

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


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 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.  

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

This vacancy is now closed.