Consultant - South Sudan Behavior Change Research on Menstrual Hygiene

Sudan

Project Description:

The 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan prioritizes the maximization of synergies across clusters and sectors. UNICEF and Mercy Corps aims at conducting an integrated response of complementary activities, for example, ensuring that adolescent girls have access to knowledge on proper hygiene and menstrual hygiene management.

The plan stresses the need for a prioritized and co-ordinated response and Mercy Corps is refining its targeting through a menstrual hygiene component with the objective of increasing girls’ mobility and participation – a response which will be joined with the current Education in Emergencies work.

Mercy Corps has been working in Rubkona County since 2005 and in the Bentiu PoC since April 2014. As one of the leading NGO agencies providing WASH services, Mercy Corps is looked upon for reliable, timely and appropriate support to conflict affected populations in the upcoming year. Mercy Corps is leading operations in Bentiu and regularly co-ordinates joint missions furthering the efforts to move beyond the PoC (IDP Camp in UNMISS base) through its integrated, WASH, Shelter/NFI, FSL and Education programs. Furthermore, this team managed programing in acute emergencies during 2014 and 2015, demonstrating the ability of staff to nimbly switch between acute and protracted settings.

Mercy Corps predicts a greater need for life-saving WASH services with a focus on gender mainstreaming to meet the needs of different groups of men, women, girls and boys. In this regard, the Menstrual Hygiene management (MHM) program is meant to address issues and concerns especially amongst teenage girls who are most vulnerable. It is a point of concern that girls are missing school days during the menstrual cycle. The assessment seeks to understand thebarriers that can be mitigated to ensure equality amongst school going children so that no girl child misses a single day as a result of her menstrual cycle.

There are slightly over 104,000 people in the PoC of which 45% are youth and girls with the greatest MHM needs. In addition, there are slightly over 50,000 people living in Bentiu town with four schools supporting this population. There is a need to develop a concrete MHM response plan, based on findings about girls’ current practices during their menstrual cycle to ensure that their most critical needs are met.

Mercy Corps proposes the following set of objectives and activities in the Mercy Corps areas of operation in Bentiu PoC, Bentiu Town schools, and Nhialdhu Payam, Rubkona County:

1.3 Pre-design work required:

Required pre-work (Juba based research/prep):

Two complimentary desk studies:

· Desk study collating previous studies about current status of Bentiu PoC, Rubkhona town and Nhialdiu menstrual hygiene management knowledge attitudes and practices among adolescent girls, including the humanitarian community response to MHM issues within Rubkona, highlighting key achievements and challenges.

· Comparative desk study between two locations in regards to the girls’ access to sanitation (state of latrines and ease of use considering MHM needs) and hygiene promotion messaging between Bentiu PoC, Bentiu town and Nhialdiu (i.e. comparison between camp set up, town/semi urban/village set up).

NB: Desk studies will ensure that the consultant is aware of the WASH response ongoing in the different locations, focusing on the different situations (beneficiary profiles) that is unique to the WASH response.

Both desk studies should also include the girls’ management of menstrual hygiene both in the school and household setting.

Preparation of research/assessment tools:

· According to findings of the desk study, and overview of the locations for the targeted assessment, the consultant will prepare assessment tools, which will be in form of:

  1. Individual/HH assessment tools

  2. Focus group discussions

  3. Key informant interviews

· The assessment tools will be tested and verified to ensure that the questions capture the information required to develop IEC materials and strategy for implementation. The tools will ensure that they take into consideration information drawn fromthe desk study, as well as the context analysis since all three locations (Bentiu PoC, Bentiu town and Nhialdiu) have unique beneficiary profiles).

Coordination and dissemination plan:

· Mercy Corps will present their strategy in the protection and WASH Cluster meetings and seek endorsement from the WASH Cluster as well as agencies working in those locations.

· Mercy Corps will coordinate with other NGOs and humanitarian actors working in the area to avoid duplication or conflict of assessment activities.

· Mercy Corps will disseminate the findings of the report with the community and aim to influence programming accordingly.

1.4 Assessment Scope of Work

This assessment will be conducted in Rubkhona County, with focus on Bentiu PoC, Bentiu Town and Nhialdiu.

1.4a Assessment objectives:

· Understand MHM practices at home and in schools from multiple sources (elders, men, adult women, and adolescent girls). Societal and cultural norms, environmental and social influences, personal perceptions, and personal biology may all determine how girls experience and manage menstruation, and those perceptions affect their education. Each of these levels of influence is important to understand the most appropriate and potentially impactful ways to intervene or provide support.

· Understand the the challenges girls face across settings (school and home) in order to lay the ground for a broad movement towards mitigating challenges posed by menstruation among adolescent girls.

· Inform a basic package of interventions for girls to manage menstruation within contexts such as schools. Using an in-depth qualitative approach, recommended intervention strategies will be informed by the girls themselves and will be tailored to specific cultural and environmental contexts.

· Utilize a coherent robust and methodological approach which best fits the context of Rubkhona county,

· Analyze beneficiary settings and recommend a communication and intervention strategy that can be applied to school settings and scaled up throughout Rubkhona County.

1.4b Scope:

Several factors may influence how girls manage menstruation and engage in educational activities at school and community level. The scope of the assessment should include (but is not limited to) the following:

1. Societal Factors: Policy, Tradition, Cultural Beliefs

· What cultural beliefs influence menstrual hygiene management practices?

· How might reaching the first occurrence of menstruation symbolize a change in what a community perceives a girls role to be?

· What policies exist that help or hinder a girl’s school attendance, particularly during menstruation?

· To what extent does shaming from peers in schools contribute to girls’ absenteeism?

2. Environmental Factors: Water, Sanitation, & Resource Availability

· Are latrine facilities available for changing absorbent materials at school?

· Are there facilities at schools for disposing/washing of used absorbent materials in a safe and private way?

· Is water available and accessible for personal cleaning at school?

· To what extent do these facilities provide the privacy needed during menstruation?

3. Interpersonal Factors: Relationships with Family, Teachers, Peers

· How do girls’ relationships with boys change after the first occurrence of menstruation?

· How do girls’ relationships with other girls change after the first occurrence of menstruation (for example, to what extent does a girls’ peer support network exist?

· How are girls supported during menstruation by teachers and peers in the school?

· In what ways do family members influence a girl’s decision to go to school when menstruating?

4. Personal Factors: Knowledge, Skills, Beliefs

· What knowledge do girls have about menstruation and their cycle?

· What do girls think they should do to manage their menstruation at school?

· What are girl’s feelings, beliefs, and attitudes about attending school during menstruation?

· What are girls’ feelings in regard to the support they receive from their peers during menstruating? Does peer-to-peer support exist?

· What are girls’ feelings in regard to the support they receive from their family members during menstruating? Does peer-to-peer support exist?

· What are they taught by family members (mothers, fathers, aunts, grandmothers) in how to manage their menstruation?

5. Biological Factors: Age, Intensity of Menstruation, Cycle

· How do girls understand their personal cycle and how does this impact their experience?

· How might age of first menstrual appearance impact girls ability to manage menstruation at school?

· How does cramping or headaches impact girls during menstruation? Does it affect school attendance?

· How does menstrual hygiene contribute to the mental wellbeing of teenage girls, e.g. self-esteem, inferiority complex, etc, including how other girls treat them when menstruating?

After successfully conducting the assessment on MHM practices and reviewing the results, the consultant will work closely with the project team from Mercy Corps to develop the following deliverables. Deliverables include but are not limited to:

  1. Instructional Aids to facilitate teenage/child friendly class lessons and School Hygiene Club sessions (e.g. flashcards to facilitate interactive Q&A sessions)

  2. Posters with targeted BCC messages on specific behaviors (e.g. hand washing) to be displayed at schools, and other appropriate community display areas.

  3. Design for other materials, such as t-shirts, bags, and banners,

  4. Develop a teaching resource package for facilitating child friendly hygiene lessons focusing on pre-determined local hygiene/health priorities, with a specific sub-component on menstrual hygiene management for adolescent girls.

  5. Develop VCC/IEC materials. The materials must be discussed and approved by Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

  6. Provide support to the Mercy Corps team in the conduct of a pilot for all materials. Revise based on feedback.

  7. Discuss/recommend printing specifications or other technical details for each material developed throughout the consultancy, and print agreed on quantity of the various materials developed.

  8. High-resolution files of all materials developed will be shared on a flash drive (4 copies of each).

  9. A final report with an executive summary, between 15-20 pages

  10. A PowerPoint summary presentation of the findings

1.5 Timeline of Project:

Start Design Work:
April 1, 2016

Start Assessment in Bentiu:
14th April 2017

Planned end date (final report):
May 15, 2017

1.6 Additional Requirements and /or Conditions:

General clarifications on the scope

· In consultation with Mercy Corps, the consultant is expected to complete all activities listed in the Scope of Work section above. The Director of Programs and the M&E Manager will be the main contact persons for the consultant. It is expected that the consultant will work closely with M&E Manager and keep her informed throughout each step of the process. Key stakeholders and partners will be consulted when appropriate.

· Mercy Corps will facilitate and provide arrangements and support services/ facilities for the work of the consultant in Juba. These include:

o Provision of background and reference documents;

o Provision of working space within Mercy Corps in Juba/Bentiu;

o Support the consultant to conduct the pilot for all the materials

o Support the consultant with flight bookings and travel arrangements

Final Deliverables:

· Final assessment report containing executive summary.

· High-resolution files of all materials developed on flash drive (4 copies of each).

· Workshop report detailing recommendations for materials and messages

· IEC/BCC materials

· A report detailing the results of the pilot and recommendations for the suggested use of each BCC/IEC material developed.

· Teaching Resource Package/Manual Printed materials in pre-determined quantity (Instructional Aids, Posters, T-shirts, Bags, Caps, flash cards)

· Complimentary PowerPoint pr*e*sentation, highlighting the key findings of the study.

· All datasets to be submitted to Mercy Corps as MC property.

Skills and competencies required

  • Master’s degree in public health, sociology, communications, gender, social sciences, or other related area
  • At least 5+ years of experience in conducting assessments and/or research studies in developing countries
  • Expert knowledge and practical experience in behavior change communication in developing countries, preferably in South Sudan or a country with a similar context
  • At least 5 to 10 years of practical experience in communications and printing using graphic design, with an understanding in the area of WASH and Health in Schools, gender and equity including specific MHM assessment design and intervention.
  • Experience designing educational, training of trainers, and behavior change materials for audiences with low levels of literacy
  • Experience conducting focus groups to pilot and adapt materials
  • Experience in coordinating diverse teams and communicating with individuals/groups at all levels including children and school personnel in research and reviews, strategic planning and program development
  • Experience working in rural communities, IDP camps, etc. preferably in South Sudan in MHM related issues; an understanding of the deeply sensitive issues MHM brings up within communities and the tact and diplomacy to navigate contextual norms.
  • Strong analytical, presentation and writing skills in English
  • Demonstrates strong commitment to Mercy Corps’ Mission, Vision and Values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity.
  • Ability to work under pressure and difficult conditions.
  • Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply

Scope of Work:

Assessment to investigate behavior change and research on hygiene and menstrual hygiene management

1.1 Client and Project Information

Name of Client/Organization : Mercy Corps

Name of Project: Integrated WASH emergency response in Rubkona County

Contact email: stsai@mercycorps.org

City: Juba, South Sudan

1.2 Project Description:

The 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan prioritizes the maximization of synergies across clusters and sectors. UNICEF and Mercy Corps aims at conducting an integrated response of complementary activities, for example, ensuring that adolescent girls have access to knowledge on proper hygiene and menstrual hygiene management.

The plan stresses the need for a prioritized and co-ordinated response and Mercy Corps is refining its targeting through a menstrual hygiene component with the objective of increasing girls’ mobility and participation – a response which will be joined with the current Education in Emergencies work.

Mercy Corps has been working in Rubkona County since 2005 and in the Bentiu PoC since April 2014. As one of the leading NGO agencies providing WASH services, Mercy Corps is looked upon for reliable, timely and appropriate support to conflict affected populations in the upcoming year. Mercy Corps is leading operations in Bentiu and regularly co-ordinates joint missions furthering the efforts to move beyond the PoC (IDP Camp in UNMISS base) through its integrated, WASH, Shelter/NFI, FSL and Education programs. Furthermore, this team managed programing in acute emergencies during 2014 and 2015, demonstrating the ability of staff to nimbly switch between acute and protracted settings.

Mercy Corps predicts a greater need for life-saving WASH services with a focus on gender mainstreaming to meet the needs of different groups of men, women, girls and boys. In this regard, the Menstrual Hygiene management (MHM) program is meant to address issues and concerns especially amongst teenage girls who are most vulnerable. It is a point of concern that girls are missing school days during the menstrual cycle. The assessment seeks to understand thebarriers that can be mitigated to ensure equality amongst school going children so that no girl child misses a single day as a result of her menstrual cycle.

There are slightly over 104,000 people in the PoC of which 45% are youth and girls with the greatest MHM needs. In addition, there are slightly over 50,000 people living in Bentiu town with four schools supporting this population. There is a need to develop a concrete MHM response plan, based on findings about girls’ current practices during their menstrual cycle to ensure that their most critical needs are met.

Mercy Corps proposes the following set of objectives and activities in the Mercy Corps areas of operation in Bentiu PoC, Bentiu Town schools, and Nhialdhu Payam, Rubkona County:

1.3 Pre-design work required:

Required pre-work (Juba based research/prep):

Two complimentary desk studies:

· Desk study collating previous studies about current status of Bentiu PoC, Rubkhona town and Nhialdiu menstrual hygiene management knowledge attitudes and practices among adolescent girls, including the humanitarian community response to MHM issues within Rubkona, highlighting key achievements and challenges.

· Comparative desk study between two locations in regards to the girls’ access to sanitation (state of latrines and ease of use considering MHM needs) and hygiene promotion messaging between Bentiu PoC, Bentiu town and Nhialdiu (i.e. comparison between camp set up, town/semi urban/village set up).

NB: Desk studies will ensure that the consultant is aware of the WASH response ongoing in the different locations, focusing on the different situations (beneficiary profiles) that is unique to the WASH response.

Both desk studies should also include the girls’ management of menstrual hygiene both in the school and household setting.

Preparation of research/assessment tools:

· According to findings of the desk study, and overview of the locations for the targeted assessment, the consultant will prepare assessment tools, which will be in form of:

  1. Individual/HH assessment tools

  2. Focus group discussions

  3. Key informant interviews

· The assessment tools will be tested and verified to ensure that the questions capture the information required to develop IEC materials and strategy for implementation. The tools will ensure that they take into consideration information drawn fromthe desk study, as well as the context analysis since all three locations (Bentiu PoC, Bentiu town and Nhialdiu) have unique beneficiary profiles).

Coordination and dissemination plan:

· Mercy Corps will present their strategy in the protection and WASH Cluster meetings and seek endorsement from the WASH Cluster as well as agencies working in those locations.

· Mercy Corps will coordinate with other NGOs and humanitarian actors working in the area to avoid duplication or conflict of assessment activities.

· Mercy Corps will disseminate the findings of the report with the community and aim to influence programming accordingly.

1.4 Assessment Scope of Work

This assessment will be conducted in Rubkhona County, with focus on Bentiu PoC, Bentiu Town and Nhialdiu.

1.4a Assessment objectives:

· Understand MHM practices at home and in schools from multiple sources (elders, men, adult women, and adolescent girls). Societal and cultural norms, environmental and social influences, personal perceptions, and personal biology may all determine how girls experience and manage menstruation, and those perceptions affect their education. Each of these levels of influence is important to understand the most appropriate and potentially impactful ways to intervene or provide support.

· Understand the the challenges girls face across settings (school and home) in order to lay the ground for a broad movement towards mitigating challenges posed by menstruation among adolescent girls.

· Inform a basic package of interventions for girls to manage menstruation within contexts such as schools. Using an in-depth qualitative approach, recommended intervention strategies will be informed by the girls themselves and will be tailored to specific cultural and environmental contexts.

· Utilize a coherent robust and methodological approach which best fits the context of Rubkhona county,

· Analyze beneficiary settings and recommend a communication and intervention strategy that can be applied to school settings and scaled up throughout Rubkhona County.

1.4b Scope:

Several factors may influence how girls manage menstruation and engage in educational activities at school and community level. The scope of the assessment should include (but is not limited to) the following:

1. Societal Factors: Policy, Tradition, Cultural Beliefs

· What cultural beliefs influence menstrual hygiene management practices?

· How might reaching the first occurrence of menstruation symbolize a change in what a community perceives a girls role to be?

· What policies exist that help or hinder a girl’s school attendance, particularly during menstruation?

· To what extent does shaming from peers in schools contribute to girls’ absenteeism?

2. Environmental Factors: Water, Sanitation, & Resource Availability

· Are latrine facilities available for changing absorbent materials at school?

· Are there facilities at schools for disposing/washing of used absorbent materials in a safe and private way?

· Is water available and accessible for personal cleaning at school?

· To what extent do these facilities provide the privacy needed during menstruation?

3. Interpersonal Factors: Relationships with Family, Teachers, Peers

· How do girls’ relationships with boys change after the first occurrence of menstruation?

· How do girls’ relationships with other girls change after the first occurrence of menstruation (for example, to what extent does a girls’ peer support network exist?

· How are girls supported during menstruation by teachers and peers in the school?

· In what ways do family members influence a girl’s decision to go to school when menstruating?

4. Personal Factors: Knowledge, Skills, Beliefs

· What knowledge do girls have about menstruation and their cycle?

· What do girls think they should do to manage their menstruation at school?

· What are girl’s feelings, beliefs, and attitudes about attending school during menstruation?

· What are girls’ feelings in regard to the support they receive from their peers during menstruating? Does peer-to-peer support exist?

· What are girls’ feelings in regard to the support they receive from their family members during menstruating? Does peer-to-peer support exist?

· What are they taught by family members (mothers, fathers, aunts, grandmothers) in how to manage their menstruation?

5. Biological Factors: Age, Intensity of Menstruation, Cycle

· How do girls understand their personal cycle and how does this impact their experience?

· How might age of first menstrual appearance impact girls ability to manage menstruation at school?

· How does cramping or headaches impact girls during menstruation? Does it affect school attendance?

· How does menstrual hygiene contribute to the mental wellbeing of teenage girls, e.g. self-esteem, inferiority complex, etc, including how other girls treat them when menstruating?

After successfully conducting the assessment on MHM practices and reviewing the results, the consultant will work closely with the project team from Mercy Corps to develop the following deliverables. Deliverables include but are not limited to:

  1. Instructional Aids to facilitate teenage/child friendly class lessons and School Hygiene Club sessions (e.g. flashcards to facilitate interactive Q&A sessions)

  2. Posters with targeted BCC messages on specific behaviors (e.g. hand washing) to be displayed at schools, and other appropriate community display areas.

  3. Design for other materials, such as t-shirts, bags, and banners,

  4. Develop a teaching resource package for facilitating child friendly hygiene lessons focusing on pre-determined local hygiene/health priorities, with a specific sub-component on menstrual hygiene management for adolescent girls.

  5. Develop VCC/IEC materials. The materials must be discussed and approved by Mercy Corps and UNICEF.

  6. Provide support to the Mercy Corps team in the conduct of a pilot for all materials. Revise based on feedback.

  7. Discuss/recommend printing specifications or other technical details for each material developed throughout the consultancy, and print agreed on quantity of the various materials developed.

  8. High-resolution files of all materials developed will be shared on a flash drive (4 copies of each).

  9. A final report with an executive summary, between 15-20 pages

  10. A PowerPoint summary presentation of the findings

1.5 Timeline of Project:

Start Design Work:
April 1, 2016

Start Assessment in Bentiu:
14th April 2017

Planned end date (final report):
May 15, 2017

1.6 Additional Requirements and /or Conditions:

General clarifications on the scope

· In consultation with Mercy Corps, the consultant is expected to complete all activities listed in the Scope of Work section above. The Director of Programs and the M&E Manager will be the main contact persons for the consultant. It is expected that the consultant will work closely with M&E Manager and keep her informed throughout each step of the process. Key stakeholders and partners will be consulted when appropriate.

· Mercy Corps will facilitate and provide arrangements and support services/ facilities for the work of the consultant in Juba. These include:

o Provision of background and reference documents;

o Provision of working space within Mercy Corps in Juba/Bentiu;

o Support the consultant to conduct the pilot for all the materials

o Support the consultant with flight bookings and travel arrangements

Final Deliverables:

· Final assessment report containing executive summary.

· High-resolution files of all materials developed on flash drive (4 copies of each).

· Workshop report detailing recommendations for materials and messages

· IEC/BCC materials

· A report detailing the results of the pilot and recommendations for the suggested use of each BCC/IEC material developed.

· Teaching Resource Package/Manual Printed materials in pre-determined quantity (Instructional Aids, Posters, T-shirts, Bags, Caps, flash cards)

· Complimentary PowerPoint pr*e*sentation, highlighting the key findings of the study.

· All datasets to be submitted to Mercy Corps as MC property.

Skills and competencies required

  • Master’s degree in public health, sociology, communications, gender, social sciences, or other related area
  • At least 5+ years of experience in conducting assessments and/or research studies in developing countries
  • Expert knowledge and practical experience in behavior change communication in developing countries, preferably in South Sudan or a country with a similar context
  • At least 5 to 10 years of practical experience in communications and printing using graphic design, with an understanding in the area of WASH and Health in Schools, gender and equity including specific MHM assessment design and intervention.
  • Experience designing educational, training of trainers, and behavior change materials for audiences with low levels of literacy
  • Experience conducting focus groups to pilot and adapt materials
  • Experience in coordinating diverse teams and communicating with individuals/groups at all levels including children and school personnel in research and reviews, strategic planning and program development
  • Experience working in rural communities, IDP camps, etc. preferably in South Sudan in MHM related issues; an understanding of the deeply sensitive issues MHM brings up within communities and the tact and diplomacy to navigate contextual norms.
  • Strong analytical, presentation and writing skills in English
  • Demonstrates strong commitment to Mercy Corps’ Mission, Vision and Values.
  • Displays cultural, gender, religion, race, nationality, and age sensitivity.
  • Ability to work under pressure and difficult conditions.
  • Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply

You can apply here:: http://app.jobvite.com/m?3VKJsiwD

Please submit a brief cover letter as part of your application which includes a list of relevant projects/experience, expected fees/daily rate, and availability.

Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.
Apply
  • Organization: Mercy Corps
  • Location: Sudan
  • Grade: Mid/Senior
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Environment
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Health service
  • Closing Date: 2017-04-01

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