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  • Organization: UNICEF - United Nations Children’s Fund
  • Location: New York City
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nutrition
    • Education, Learning and Training
    • Women's Empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming
    • Children's rights (health and protection)
    • Logistics
    • Supply Chain
    • Banking and Finance
    • Economics
  • Closing Date: 2018-04-02

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Consultancy: Capacity of regional platforms to improve policies, legislations, strategies and financing for Early Childhood and Women’s Nutrition, Nutrition Section in ESARO and WCARO, and for EAPRO - Requisition #511472

New York City (United States of America)

These consultancies are part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-UNICEF partnership, the underlying theory of change of which assumes that by strengthening the capacity of regional platforms to improve, among others, policies and legislations, regional platforms will be equipped with greater organizational and technical leadership to support the scale up of the effective coverage of key evidence-based interventions for Early Childhood Nutrition and Women’s Nutrition, including implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the Code and maternity protection.

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.

Background & Rationale

UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries and territories through country programmes and national committees. UNICEF works with governments, civil society organizations, and other organizations around the world to advance children’s rights to survival, growth, development, protection and participation and is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Improving the nutritional status of children and their mothers is a core part of UNICEF’s Strategic Plan.

One of the most critical times for good nutrition is in the brief 1,000 day period from the start of a woman’s pregnancy until a child’s second birthday. Breastmilk is the best food for children’s health and development during this critical window. It provides all of the vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antibodies that children need to grow and thrive. In 2016, The Lancet again confirmed the critical importance of breastfeeding. Better breastfeeding practices could save 823,000 children and 20,000 mothers each year, in addition to generating economic savings of US $300 billion. Despite the remarkable scientific evidence on the myriad benefits of breastfeeding, there has been limited progress in the last twenty years to significantly raise breastfeeding rates. Globally, only 43 percent of children under six months of age are exclusively breastfed (fed only breastmilk, with no additional foods or liquid, including water, as per recommended guidelines). 

One of the key challenges is lack of adequate policies and legislation to protect promote and support breastfeeding from the aggressive and unethical promotion of breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles and teats. Promotional tactics are often designed to undermine women’s confidence in their ability to breastfeed and persuade them to forego it or give it up in favour of inferior and expensive substitutes that can put their baby’s health and survival at risk.

In May 1981, the World Health Assembly (WHA) adopted the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (hereafter referred to as ‘the Code’) to limit these inappropriate marketing practices. The Code, plus subsequent WHA resolutions related to the promotion and protection of breastfeeding, express the collective will of the highest global authority on health and carry substantial political and moral weight. Nevertheless, thirty-six years after the adoption of the Code, global sales of breast-milk substitutes total US$ 44.8 billion, and this number is expected to rise to US$ 70.6 billion by 2019.

To give effect to the Code, Governments need to adopt the Code into legally-enforceable national regulations, with adequate monitoring and enforcement measures. According to a joint WHO/UNICEF/IBFAN report, as of March 2016, 135 countries had at least some form of legal measure in place covering some provisions of the Code. Of those, only of 39 countries have comprehensive legislation or other legal measures reflecting all or most provisions of the Code. An additional 31 countries have legal measures incorporating many provisions of the Code, and a further 65 countries have legal measures that contain a few provisions. Unfortunately, information on, and actual existence of, formal monitoring and enforcement mechanisms remain very limited. In compiling the 2016 Report, only 32 countries reported having a mechanism in place, and even fewer reported that they were functional. Just six countries reported having dedicated budgets and funding for monitoring and enforcement. Clearly much work remains to be done.

Recognizing the importance of supporting working mothers to breastfeed, UNICEF is also advocating for strong maternity protection policies and collaborating with the private sector and the International Labor Organization (ILO) to develop models for protecting breastfeeding in the workplace in Bangladesh and Kenya. There is need to build on some of the lessons learned to make the case to strengthen maternity entitlement policies.

These consultancies are part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-UNICEF partnership, the underlying theory of change of which assumes that by strengthening the capacity of regional platforms to improve, among others, policies and legislations, regional platforms will be equipped with greater organizational and technical leadership to support the scale up of the effective coverage of key evidence-based interventions for Early Childhood Nutrition and Women’s Nutrition, including implementation, monitoring and enforcement of the Code and maternity protection.

UNICEF’s regional offices will continue to engage with regional platforms and national governments to strengthen the content of and compliance with legislation aligned with the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and the ILO Maternity Protection Convention 2000. In each region, there are countries that have been more successful than others on Code or Maternity Protection implementation issues and they can share their experiences and inspire their neighbors to act more decisively in addressing unethical and unlawful marketing practices by the baby food industry, and lack of adequate maternity protection. This includes sharing examples of effective legislation as well as lessons learned on processes for achieving regulatory success. In addition, the baby food industry develops regional marketing strategies that require a regional response in terms of regulation. A coordinated approach to Code implementation will help prevent the problem of the cross-border promotion that occurs when a country with strong Code legislation is subjected to advertisements from a neighboring country with weak regulation through internet advertising, satellite TV and imported magazines. Fostering an enabling environment with strong policies to protect, promote and support breastfeeding and complementary feeding will help regions and countries to be better prepared in case of emergencies.

OBJECTIVES

Strengthened capacity of regional platforms to provide technical advice and support on Early Childhood Nutrition and Women’s Nutrition, through the provision of legal and technical advice, to support the development of Code and maternity protection regulations, monitoring and enforcement systems, bottleneck analysis of Code and maternity protection implementation in 4 regions.

Specific objectives

  • Support the development or strengthening of Code and maternity protection regulations, monitoring and enforcement systems through the provision of legal and technical advice;
  • Undertake bottleneck analysis of implementation;
  • Build regional networks of successful Code and maternity protection implementation experts to support the development of regional Code and maternity protection standards.
  • Build on ongoing work using the recently developed NetCode monitoring protocol.
  • Provide guidance on legal drafting, including the adaptation of model legislation to provide countries with a concrete example of what effective Code legislation should look like.
  • Support documentation of bottleneck analysis, experiences, lessons and knowledge exchange

SCOPE OF WORK

The work is requested from qualified and reputable individuals with demonstrated leadership and expertise in the field of public health regulation, monitoring and enforcement. We envisage this work in three phases:

  1. Phase 1 [Capacity Building]
    1. The consultants, who should already have legal expertise and experience in the field of public health law and regulatory frameworks will undergo training from UNICEF HQ’s Legal Specialist on the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding and complementary feeding through legal measures (the Code, NetCode and ILO Maternity Protection Conventions and Recommendations).
  1. Phase 2 [scoping of engagement with appropriate regional platforms and bottleneck analysis of implementation barriers]
    1. The consultants will work with Regional Advisers to identify the most appropriate regional platforms from among the Regional Economic Commissions, Regional Associations and Regional Development Partners listed in the figure below. Through interviews with regional and country colleagues, the consultants will identify the main obstacles to the implementation of necessary regulatory frameworks and provide suggestions on how to overcome those obstacles.

The consultants will then engage with the Regional Platforms to explore opportunities to advocate with and strengthen their capacity to influence positively policies, legislations, strategies, financing, and coordination, provide timely and quality technical advice and support, and improve the generation and use of knowledge. This in turn will equip regional platforms with greater organizational and technical leadership to support the scale up the effective coverage of key evidence-based interventions for early childhood nutrition and women’s nutrition.

  1. Phase 3 [Provision of legal support to regions and countries ]

The consultants will provide the necessary in-country technical support to Governments interested in adopting and/or strengthening of Code and maternity protection regulations and their effective monitoring. Advocacy through the Regional Platforms should lead to increased demand for support.

MANAGEMENT ARRANGEMENTS

Under the supervision of the relevant Regional Advisor for Nutrition, in close collaboration with the HQ Legal Specialist, the consultant will work with Regional and National Nutrition Specialists to strengthen Code and Maternity Protection implementation, monitoring and enforcement.

Duty Station :  This vacancy will serve for the recruitment of 3 positions in 3 regions (ESARO, WCARO and EAPRO and Home base with extensive travel.

Timeframe

Starting date: May 2018                                                               
End date: August 2018

DELIVERABLES AND SCHEDULE

Deliverables Working Days Due date Payment schedule
Phase 1 [Capacity Building]      
Complete the WHO introductory online course on the Code (2days) and participate in capacity building workshop led by HQ legal specialist (5 days) 7 days Within 1 month of signing contract Upon certification
Phase 2 [scoping of and engagement with appropriate regional platforms and bottleneck analysis of implementation barriers ]      
Appropriate regional platforms identified and main barriers and bottlenecks to implementation identified 25 days By end August 2018 Upon delivery of scoping report.
Regional meeting convened through appropriate regional platform 10 days By end October 2018 Upon delivery of meeting report
Technical support provided to 3 countries 20 days By mid- December 2018 Upon delivery of trip reports
Phase 3 [Provision of legal support to regions and countries]      
Participate in regional/national NetCode workshops 15 days By end March 2019 Upon delivery of workshop reports
Final Report      
Summary report of activities undertaken 3 days 2 weeks before end of contract Upon delivery of final report
TOTAL 80 Days (per each consultant contract    


MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED

  • Advanced University Degree (Master's) in Law, with specialization or experience in Public Health and international regulatory policies and their application to the national context.
  • A minimum of 5 years working experience in relevant area of expertise, including:
    • Provision of legal advice and support in the context of public health
    • Advocacy for strengthened public health policy frameworks
    • Capacity building of policy makers and/or health professionals
    • Monitoring of regulatory initiatives
  • Proven experience in drafting of legal products
  • Excellent interpersonal communication
  • Fluency in English (and French for WCAR) is required

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.

Remarks

With the exception of the US Citizens, G4 Visa and Green Card holders, should the selected candidate and his/her household members reside in the United States under a different visa, the consultant and his/her household members are required to change their visa status to G4, and the consultant’s household members (spouse) will require an Employment Authorization Card (EAD) to be able to work, even if he/she was authorized to work under the visa held prior to switching to G4.   

At the time the contract is awarded, the selected candidate must have in place current health insurance coverage

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

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages all candidates, irrespective of gender, nationality, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of the organization

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
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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