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Technical Support on Fortification of Foods with Vitamin D

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 70 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

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 70 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.

Purpose of the Assignment: Provision of Technical Support on Fortification of Foods with Vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D)

Location: Tehran

Duration of Contract: 19 days

Start Date: November

Reporting to: Health and Nutrition Unit, UNICEF Iran

Assignment Tasks

1. Background

Malnutrition and poor diets constitute the number-one driver of the global burden of diseases. An estimated annual GDP losses from low weight, poor child growth, and micronutrient deficiencies are average of 11 percent in Asia and Africa which was greater than the loss experienced during the 2008–2010 due to financial crisis. Thus malnutrition undermines progress towards achieving the World Bank Group twin goals of reducing poverty and promoting shared prosperity.

During the 2008 Copenhagen Consensus, a team of Nobel laureate economists found that micronutrient interventions such as fortification and supplements designed to increase nutrient intakes were the most effective investment that could be made with massive benefits for a tiny price-tag. In research for Copenhagen Consensus 2012, researchers again proposed that decision-makers prioritize micronutrient interventions. The post 2015 Copenhagen Consensus leading economists have found that we could achieve four times more benefits by prioritizing 19 Sustainable Development Targets (SDT) instead of spreading the aid budget thinly on the 169 listed SDT. The first of these 19 Smart Development Goals is “lower chronic malnutrition by 40%”. A characteristic of chronic malnutrition (or stunting) is a deficiency in micronutrients.

Mandatory Vitamin D fortification of foods is used in a number of countries to address vitamin D malnutrition. The vehicles include liquid milk foods, some processed fruit juices, vegetable oil, margarine, weaning foods such as cereals, and other fortified blended foods used in food aid programmes. In the past, in the UK vitamin D was included in wheat flour mandatory fortification programme. Canada has mandatory vitamin D fortification of milk and dairy products. The Islamic Republic of Iran has a strong history of successful staple food fortification to address micronutrient malnutrition. This has included the mandatory fortification of salt and wheat flour.

Vitamin  D situation in Iran

Iran is among the countries with a very high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency among different age groups. According to the most recent National Integrated Micronutrient Survey (NIMS 2012) 23.7% of the 15-23 month old children, 61.6% of the 6 year old children, more than 76.3% of the adolescents, 86% of the pregnant women and 60.9% of the elderly are suffering from Vitamin D deficiency.

Considering the above situation, the Ministry of Health & Medical Education, Islamic Republic of Iran, has requested to UNICEF Iran office for a technical mission to conduct an assessment on the potential opportunities of fortification of foods with vitamin D in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

2- Objective

  • Reviewing relevant global and national evidence and practice and capacity of food industries
  • Identify the most appropriate food vehicle to fortify with Vitamin D to address the high prevalence among women and children in Iran.
  • Conduct an advocacy meetings to sensitive the relevant stakeholders on the issue and agree on the way forward and consultative and decision making final meeting
  • Report with recommendations on fortification of foods with vitamin D.

 

Sub Objective:

  • Review the current evidences of vitamin D deficiency in the country
  • Review the consumption data of potential food vehicles for vitamin D fortification including bread, vegetable oil and milk products.
  • Review the national production data of potential staple food vehicles for vitamin D fortification. Conduct a market analysis to determine the various food staples consumed by majority of population especially those who are most affected due to  vitamin D deficiency as well as who are most vulnerable population this effect.
  • Review the capacity of the food industry sectors to fortify the staple foods
  • Review the capacity of the food control system to analyze vitamin D in fortified foods
  • Share world experiences of vitamin D fortification including QA/QC systems and costs of analysis methods 
  • Meet ­­with all the stakeholders (government, food industry, etc.) for consultation and determining readiness for vitamin D fortification of staple foods
  • Advocate for the inclusion of vitamin D in currently fortified staple foods.
  • Wrap up meeting including advocacy for the inclusion of vitamin D and present the findings and recommendations to the concern stakeholders.
  • Prepare and issue a report along with recommendations on fortification of foods with vitamin D as well as propose the best way of Quality Control/Quality Assurance system and costs of analysis methods.

3. Methodology, Scope of Work and Technical Approach

The scope of work includes desk review and field interviews in the food value chain from flour milling industry to oil and dairy to identify the best staple food to fortify with Vitamin D to address the high prevalence of Vitamin D deficiency among the Iranian population. This will be done through:

 

  • Advocacy through in-country bi-lateral meetings and discussion with the government counterparts in relevant line ministries and other stakeholders to determine their understanding of the issue of Micronutrient deficiencies specifically Vitamin D and their role in preventing and addressing issue.
  • Conducting a market analysis to determine the various food staples consumed by majority of the population especially those who are most affected by the deficiency and the most vulnerable group.
  • Supporting the Government of Iran through strengthening their Quality Control/Quality Assurance system to ensure fortification programs are adequately implemented.

4. Activities, Deliverables, Indicators, Timeframe and Schedule of Payment

  •  Activity :  Desk review based on the mentioned part in above Terms of Reference including QA/QC for proposed methods

        Corresponding Deliverable: Provide a report on desk review with above mentioned components

        Indicator: Received reports by UNICEF/MoH

        timeframe: 10 days

        Payment: 20%

 

  • Activity:  Plan, organize and prepare presentation materials for the initial workshop/meeting in Tehran with all the stakeholders (government, food industry, etc.) to determine the readiness for vitamin D fortification with staple foods.

     Corresponding Deliverable:  An effective workshop with all stakeholders took place and identified potential pitfalls and solutions.

      Indicator:  Drawbacks on vitamin-D deficiency and recommendations for the solutions are available from the workshop.

      timeframe:  2 days

      Payment:   20%

 

  • Activity:  Discussion and meeting with MoH officials to explore the implementation modality for the fortification of vitamin-D with the recommended staple foods. final recommendations and QA/QC systems and zero draft for roadmap

      Corresponding Deliverable: A road map on implementation modality is available

      Indicator: MoH has endorsed the road map and took actions for its implementation

      timeframe: 1day

      Payment: 10%

 

  • Activity:  Conducting debriefing meeting  in UNICEF  and delivering a presentation on related subject for all UNICEF staffs

      Corresponding Deliverable: conducting  a meeting and one session for raising awareness among UNICEF staffs  

      Indicator: Conducting a meeting and one session for UNICEF staffs

      timeframe: 1 day

      Payment: 20%

 

  • Activity:  Prepare the reports with final recommendations on fortification of foods with vitamin D/ Quality Control/Quality Assurance mechanism/assisting for finalized details for implementation (road map)

      Corresponding Deliverable: Prepare report on the best way for Quality control/assurance for making sure that the fortifications      adequately performed

      Indicator: Received the reports on mentioned items

      timeframe: 5 days

      Payment: 30%

   Total number of required working days: 19working days

   Acceptance of Deliverables: The Consultant will report to UNICEF country office

   Specific Inputs to be provided by UNICEF and the Ministry of Health

  • Provide a list of suppliers which need to be interviewed for industrial best practices
  • Provide timely feedback on deliverables.

 5- Management and Organization: 

5.1-Management: This consultancy includes contracting of a nutrition consultant. The consultant will work under the direct supervision  of UNICEF Health and Nutrition Specialist. The responsible government partner is the Ministry of Health and Medical Education, Nutrition Department.

5.2-Travel: Travel to duty station of the individual consultant shall be covered by UNICEF as per its rules and regulations.

Duty travel of individual consultant for the implementation of consultancy within the country shall be covered by UNICEF as per its rules and regulations.

The UNICEF will be responsible for organizing and coordinating all meetings with the counterparts as required.

6- Budget and terms of payment: The consultancy fee shall be paid in five installments upon approval of relevant deliverables by UNICEF , based on the above schedule.

7- Conditions of Work: The consultant shall use his own facilities to manage the work, but, where circumstances demand otherwise, shall be allowed to make use of available UNICEF office space, computer and internet facilities with prior notification and arrangement with the supervisor and UNICEF Admin/ICT. The provision of these facilities by UNICEF shall be subject to their availability.

8. Qualifications

  • Advanced degree in Nutrition or related public health degree;
  • Significant experience in the food processing industry;
  • Established track record in similar projects in the private sector;
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills in English.

     

9. Evaluation:

The minimum threshold for the technical evaluation is 70 scores. The assessment will be done against the ratio of 70 percent technical qualification and 30 percent financial proposal

Evaluation Criteria For Facilitator:

 Qualification #1: Minimum Ten years of working experience at nutrition field specific on fortification ground

 Score: 20 (2 scores per year)

Qualification #2: Advanced degree in Nutrition or related public health degree

Score: 20

Qualification #3: experience in the processing industry for fortification  

Score:30

Technical qualification:  70

Financial proposal: 30

Total Score:100

To view our competency framework, please click here

Please indicate your ability, availability and daily/monthly rate (in US$) to undertake the terms of reference above (including travel and daily subsistence allowance, if applicable).  Applications submitted without a daily/monthly rate will not be considered.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.

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.
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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location:
  • Grade: Level not specified
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Public Health and Health Service
    • Nutrition
  • Closing Date: 2017-11-14

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