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International Consultant-Lead Researcher (Youth Behavioural Survey), Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya (Kenya)

Duty Staiton: Somaila Country Office in Nairobi, Kenya with travel to Somalia

Duration: 45 working days

Closing date: 27 July 2018 ( 5 pm Nairobi time)

Background Information


Young people are considered to be a particularly vulnerable group to sexually transmitted infections including HIV (STI/HIV) as well as to high risk behaviors.  They have limited access to adequate youth-friendly sexual reproductive health (RH) services and/or they are faced with resistance and/or unfriendly attitudes exhibited by service providers. Very often they rely on their peers and/or the internet for learning about the changes they go through, the answers to their health problems or advice for engaging in a relationship, among other information. In many cases, they end up being recipients of incorrect and inadequate information from inaccurate sources without any guidance. A research conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Somalia in 2012 showed a significant level of misconceptions among young people with respect to transmission of HIV.

Significant numbers of young adolescent girls, who survived incidents of Gender based Violence (GBV), particularly sexual violence, face significant risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases because of lack of knowledge about the infection and available GBV-related services. All of these challenges require understanding of young people’s attitudes and perceptions about their health-seeking behaviors. This information is fundamental for better responding to their needs and aspirations.  

The existing data on the Somali HIV epidemic points towards a likely concentrated epidemic in high-risk populations that has neither been properly identified or addressed programmatically in the national response. The draft 2016 antenatal clinic (ANC) data showed HIV prevalence of 0.07% in the South-Central part of the country, 0.29% in Puntland, and 0.48% (in Somaliland).  The HIV prevalence among women aged 15-24 was 0.24% across the country, breaking down as 0.70% in Somaliland, 0.12% in Puntland, and 0.10% in the South Central part of Somalia.  

STI prevalence is surprisingly high for a low-prevalence country, indicating that high-risk behaviours are taking place. Anecdotal accounts and the completion of two research studies integrated biological and behavioural survey (IBBS) and size estimation by IOM and partners point towards existence of certain populations at higher risk of HIV, including women engaged in transactional sex, their clients, transport workers (truck drivers and port workers), and other groups at increased risk of HIV.

The 2012 Youth Behavioural Survey identified very low rates of knowledge among young women and men. Only 8.7% of the young men and 13.4% of the young women surveyed were able to correctly identify ways of preventing sexual transmission of HIV and rejected major misconceptions. Overall, 9.2% of young women and 21.2% of young men considered themselves at risk of being living with HIV. Of those surveyed, 0% of young women had ever had sex, and 10.8% of young men had had sex. Of the young men who had had sex, 1.3% had done so prior to the age of 15 and 2.6% had more than one partner. Approximately 35% of these had used a condom during their last intercourse.

The Strategic Framework for the Somali AIDS Response (2018-2020) is focused on achieving two primary goals:

Goal 1: Reduce the rate of new infections by 2020.
Goal 2:  Reduce HIV-related mortality and morbidity for Somali women, men and children by 2020. 

UNFPA has been working in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention among young people in Somalia since 2007, with a pool of peer educators doing health education in schools and outreach at community level for out-of-school youth.

II. Purpose of the assignment

You will be responsible for conceptually developing, conducting and analysing the results of a community-based survey that will assess and measure the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and practices of young people at higher risk of HIV and those in schools.

All respondents will be young people aged 15 to 24 years. Geographically the survey will cover a representative sample of various parts of the country. This will be done through random selection of representative target areas.

The study will also look at changing patterns among young people and sex groups, of different regions, to establish levels of sexual experience (age of first sex, forced sex and coercion), characteristics of sexual activity (partners, condom usage, alcohol and drug use, and transactional sex), educational level, HIV knowledge, communication and perceived risk, testing and exposure to interventions. 

The study will also assess young peoples’ preferred channels and sources of information towards planning and tailoring effective communication and advocacy interventions with maximum reach and impact. The outcome of this assignment should result in 
a) filling critical information gaps and ascertaining trends with respect to knowledge, attitudes, behaviors and practices in relation to HIV; 
b) identifying factors that act as barriers and enablers to HIV prevention and seeking care; 
c) identifying the existing channels and sources of information; and 
d) assessing and recommending appropriate communication channels and sources of information while focusing on message design and its delivery according to the needs of the target groups.

III. Objectives of the Assignment

Working under the overall supervision of Head of Programmes at UNFPA Somalia and the direct supervision of the UNFPA Youth Programme Officer for Somalia based in Nairobi, in close collaboration with the UNFPA sub-offices in Mogadishu, Somaliland and Puntland, you will manage the task of the formative research activity as follows:
•    Obtaining Ethical approval of the research from the Government.
•    Conducting a thorough review of available and relevant literature at the national, regional, and global levels in connection with the objectives of the study.  
•    In consultation with pertinent entities, preparing a concept note outlining the survey methodology and implementation timelines.  
•    Based on the approved research and sampling design, prepare appropriate data collection instruments, select and train interviewers, develop a quality assurance system, facilitate testing of questionnaires and undertake field-work and data collection.
•    Developing the survey questionnaire. 
•    Training enumerators on the survey tools and data collection procedures.
•    Collate, clean and subset the data for analysis and reporting.
•    Preparing a draft analytical report to be reviewed by UNFPA and the Joint UN team on AIDS (JUNTA) team and finalize report based on inputs and comments received. 
•    Participating in one meeting with the Joint team on AIDS to present and discuss findings/recommendations of the assignment with pertinent stakeholders.
A Somali-speaking research assistant will be hired by UNFPA Somalia to work under the researcher


IV. Expected Outputs

The following deliverables are expected to be provided by the consultant by the end of the assignment, in English:

1.    Ethical approval
2.    Action plan with timelines for the activity.
3.    A comprehensive descriptive report including detailed description of the methodologies used, discussion and analysis of the results, recommendations based on above scope, and annexes presenting the tools, instruments, documented results of the survey and interviews. The report structure to be discussed with UNFPA upon initiation of the consultancy.
4.    An executive summary of the above report and a Power point presentation (not to exceed 20 slides) with major findings and recommendations to be presented to key stakeholders.

V. Payment Schedule

1.    First instalment: upon signing of contract and submission of inception report with methodology for the study and action plan: 25%.
2.    Second instalment: upon successful completion of data collection: 25%.
3.    Final instalment: upon submission of final satisfactory research report: 50%.
VI: Travel

The assignment entails travel to Somalia. All travel expenses directly related to the consultancy to and within Somalia will be facilitated and paid for by UNFPA Somalia.

VII: Project Timeline

Final report delivered by 31 October 2018.

VII: Qualifications and Competencies

i. Languages Skills
Excellent command of spoken and written English. 
•    Knowledge of Somali an asset.

ii.    Education
•    Postgraduate degree in development studies, public health, psychology anthropology, or related field.
•    Postgraduate qualification in research an asset.

iii.    Experience
A minimum of seven years’ experience in research with expertise in HIV, sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), social norm sexual behaviour, most-at-risk populations and/or youth.
•    Experience developing research methodology and tools.
•    Experience managing research teams.
•    Experience working in Somali setting is an asset.
•    Analytical skills with ability to produce high quality reports and policy recommendations.
•    First-hand knowledge of the socio-cultural, economic and political situation in Somalia will be an added advantage.
•    Willingness to work in difficult circumstances and travel to Somalia as well as understanding of the UN system.

iv.    Skills and Competencies
 Computer use including Microsoft Office and data analysis tools.
•    Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal.
•    Exceptional writing skills.
•    Excellent organizational and multi-tasking skills.
•    Ability to work under time constraints and deadlines in challenging settings.
•    Ability to work in multicultural and multi ethnic environments.
•    Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish effective working relations with other stakeholders with experience in convening and facilitating of workshops and meetings.
•    Ability to work independently.
•    Ability to work in a team and good interpersonal skills.

VIII. Language requirements:

Fluency in English is required, however knowledge of Somali language will be an asset.

Interested candidates are requested to register in our roster through the link below: and to send their expression of interest, curriculum vitae and information on previous similar work to  on or before by Thursday 27 July, 2018.



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: UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund
  • Location: Kenya (Kenya)
  • Grade: International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement - Consultancy
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Social Affairs
    • Youth
    • Scientist and Researcher
    • Statistics
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2018-07-27

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